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The Strange Woman

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The Strange Woman

Published 1946

Hedy Lamarr and George Sanders in a movie based on Ben Ames Williams' novel of early 19th-century Maine. The IMDB entry is here.

The video files with "_1946" in the file-name are of higher quality; the picture is sharper and there are no covered up watermarks. However, they have a very slight problem. At 1:25:26 the sign on the church is in French instead of English.

The mpeg2 file is ready to be loaded into DVDAuthorGUI (a free program) to create a DVD to watch on your television.

Run time 1:38:35
Audio/Visual sound, black and white


Reviewer: WINSTON SMITH3353 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 10, 2013
Subject: Good Film
Good print and sound.

Bangor, Maine in the 1830s. Great sets, excellent costumes. Miss Lamarr is very beautiful in this film. She plays Jane, a complex character; wicked in her personal needs yet she uses the money and power that she nefariously accrues to assist the poor in her community.

In the first few minutes of this film, the precociously mendacious young Jane is most excellently played by the equally precocious eleven year old actor Jo Ann Marlowe who is also seen here on IA in a co-starring role as Sandy Crawford in the sweet little 1946 film Rolling Home. She was a gifted little actress whose promising career ended abruptly at 15 years old in 1950.

Rolling Home on IA:

5 stars. Thank you IA.

BTW, IA, please keep your eyes out for anything with Louise Brooks. Take one look at her and you will know that she is worth preserving. Even in her still shots she conveys an incomparable poignancy. Her body language and mouth are that of a confident, beautiful woman, yet her incredibly sensitive eyes reveal a most child-like vulnerability that has been subliminally short-circuiting men for nearly 100 years. I can't wait to see her on film.
Reviewer: horseoftroy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 4, 2011
Subject: wow
this is just such a great film i'm really surprised it hasn't gotten the attention it deserves.

terrific acting, engaging script, great stages, and the film is in very good condtion, considering.
Reviewer: USABG58 - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 25, 2011
Subject: Case Study in Being A Self-Contained Unit
Yeah, a little too melodramatic for me to endure but I stuck in there. Good acting job by H. L. Both sexes are free to be conniving, self-serving creeps. Good folk just need to avoid them. If people keep it real and stay on the look out for users, they'll never be used and avoid just fine drama. And practice moderation in all things, especially whiskey!
Reviewer: splue - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 25, 2011
Subject: not about me
i repeat
Reviewer: Dark Moon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 25, 2011
Subject: Credibility leak

There is much in this film (based on a book by Ben Ames Williams) that matches up with my experience of human nature, particularly in the character played by Hedy Lamar. Watching women in persuit of their hearts' desires has often led me to say "God help the poor fool who gets between a woman and the thing she wants," and Rudyard Kipling to write, "For The Female of the Species is deadlier than the male."

We are shown the impact upon a young child of having an absent mother (who abandoned the family) and the broken father who turns to drink because of it. Nevertheless, like most young girls, she learns early on the special power that is hers as a result of her feminine charm, her vulnerability (which stimulates protectiveness in others and leads them to underestimate her), and the presumption of her innocence (so that she may lie through her teeth and yet be believed); we are made to understand her awareness when she says, "Just as soon as I grow up, we'll have everything we want, 'cause I'm going to be beautiful."

These childhood scenes set the stage for a very credible femme fatale, especially in her effect upon men, who seldom have learned anything useful about the ways of women or their own emotions until their lives are half over, if even by then. (It's just like school: illiteracy should not come as a surprise when no one is teaching the kids to read.)

For me, at least, the credibility begins to depart when Hedy's character has her first sudden attack of conscience. That can certainly happen in Real Life, but the way that it is portrayed in the film just doesn't seem to fit. The story has already become increasingly melodramatic by then, and begins to acquire the character of a morality play. The final scene felt more like something from a daytime soap opera than part of a compelling story with which I could connect.

I call this a "credibility leak" because it reminds me of the computer programming error known as a "memory leak": in this case, the writers keep asking the audience for more and more Suspension of Disbelief, while forgetting to "put some of it back," until the story finally crashes.

Though the story falls apart for me, the cast are terrific, and make the most of the screenplay. Hedy Lamar plays her part to the hilt, with energy and intensity. Two stars for the story, five for the performance, 3.5 for the film.

I downloaded 'Strange_Woman_1946.mp4'. There is an intense echo in the audio during the early portion, and the audio drops out entirely for a few minutes (though pops and static can still be heard) at about 1:25. Otherwise, an excellent quality print.
Reviewer: Dr Feel Rotten - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 24, 2010
Subject: Why oh Why??
Why are these guys in these movies such weenies? They ALWAYS fall for the rotten B I T...well, you know..Why don't they ever grow a pair and tell the tramp to take a powder? I guess they deserve them for being so utterly spineless.
I guess if they had any real nerve the movies would stink then, huh?
Hedy couldn't have played this one any better and to be fair I might even stick my own head into her lions jaws except I'm not rich.
If you pass on this one you're a fool! If kareneliot says it's great you can bank on it!
Reviewer: kareneliot - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 27, 2010
Subject: Outstanding, a MUST-SEE!!
This is one of the BEST films on this site.

Best, I say.
Reviewer: moviedivatoo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 5, 2010
Subject: Pure entertainment!
Heddy LaMarr and George Sanders need I say more!! I will anyway..great costumes and check out those hats! The story is very engrossing with Heddy as a Northern Scartlet O'Hara. It is fun! Enjoy!!
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